Three white men pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes Thursday in connection with the 2011 death of an black man in Jackson, Miss., the Justice Department announced.
Deryl Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler each admitted to conspiracy and violating the 2009 federal hate-crimes law in last June's killing of James Craig Anderson, according to federal prosecutors. They face sentences of up to life in prison and $250,000 in fines.
"We hope that today’s guilty pleas provide some closure to the victim’s family and to the grievously wounded community that has mourned Mr. Anderson’s death,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
On Wednesday, Dedmon, 19, pleaded guilty to state murder and hate crime charges in Mississippi for running over Anderson. He received two life sentences on the state charges.
Dedmon admitted in court that he and a group of white teens were partying in Puckett, a small town outside Jackson, when he suggested they find a black man to harass, federal prosecutors said.
The group reportedly went to Jackson because of its majority-black population. They found Anderson outside a hotel, where he was beaten before Dedmon ran over him.
More content from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- How Staff Sgt. Bales' lawyers are fighting for his life
- PTSD: Having the courage to ask for help
- Transit police strike in Philadelphia over pay
- More Americans uneasy with political use of religion